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3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

Okay, show of hands: who worries about having a boring and mediocre life?

No, your life is not as boring as your grandma’s (unless you have one of those active grandmas who dance salsa on Thursdays), but you might cave in to society’s expectations, and you may have a tendency to go for “the safe choice” just so you can please your proud and pestering parents.

And so life can get a little boring. Not because you suck, or the whole world hates you, but because we live in a world where you have to take action on the kind of life you wish to lead.

Let’s talk about how you can create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself with these three practical tips.

Begin with the end in mind

Imagine that you visit the doctor’s office today and discover that you have an incurable disease. The doctor gives you six months to live—at most—and that’s being optimistic.

You don’t know what to say.

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Your mind keeps playing scenes from your life, like you’re watching a movie about yourself—only you’re not satisfied with the ending. A sea of questions swim around in your head:

  • Why do I have to die before my 97-year-old grandma? Can’t we just swap? It’s so unfair.
  • Who will show up at my deathbed?
  • How will I be remembered? What will people say at my funeral?

It’s never fun to imagine yourself on a deathbed, but it is a necessary exercise because it forces you to reflect on what’s truly important in your life. It helps you to appreciate life, clarify your goals, and most importantly, make the most of your day.

Use this exercise from one of my favourite authors to create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself, so that when the time comes, you won’t have any regrets on your deathbed.

Choose the more outrageous option

We’re constantly told to make safe decisions throughout our lives, but there are two problems with that:

  1. Fun and meaningful choices are never “safe” (that’s what makes them fun and meaningful), and
  2. “Safe” options are about as exciting as watching your grandma ironing T-shirts on a Sunday afternoon.

When given the chance, always choose the more outrageous option, and don’t let the naysayers stop you.

I’ve often been called crazy and naive by my peers, but I’m OK with that because I’ve been stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve lived with a host family in Barcelona, moved halfway across the world to study creative writing (yeah, you should see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them that), and jumped out of an aeroplane.

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See what happens when you make more outrageous decisions? You gain valuable experiences that you’ll never forget. You meet people who are equally or more insane than you, and as a result, you feel inspired to live a more fun and meaningful life. I dare you to start making a few more outrageous decisions on your own. Remember, you decide what’s outrageous enough for you. Your mileage may vary. My tip is to begin small and work your way up.

As you live your life this way, you’ll soon look back at your “outrageous” decisions and realise that they weren’t that crazy after all. Instead, you’ll find yourself smiling.

Befriend your fears and move forward

We learn to fear failure from a very early age. We bury our faces in shame when we fail an exam, and blush when we ask stupid questions. We think we suck when we fail to get a job. Of course, this is a recipe for disaster: it’s exactly this kind of fear that leads us to have boring and mediocre lives.

So, what can we do about it?

Fortunately, most fears are learned. They’re a product of our environment and with a little help, we can begin to unlearn them. Think back to the last time you were scared. Perhaps you had a class presentation or a job interview. Your hands and face may have been sweating like crazy and all you wanted was for it to be over, but as soon as you exited the room, the fear disappeared.

Sound familiar?

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That’s because failure is not a matter of life and death. It’s an internal struggle; a nasty voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough.

The problem is that your body responds to this voice in the same way it would fight off a sabre-toothed tiger. When you take your fear for what it is (a learned behaviour that has been internalised), and ask yourself: “what’s the worse thing that could happen?” you often find that yes, you might embarrass yourself, but it’s not the end of the world.

Be proud that you did something instead. Most people never do.

Go ahead, set sail to a more fun and meaningful life

Please don’t be one of those people who stand still. If you don’t try, you’ll never move forward, and you’ll have a boring and mediocre life.

Something tells me that you’re different—something tells me that you’ll move forward one outrageous choice at a time because you know that’s the only way to live a fun and meaningful life. So go ahead, be more outrageous.

You don’t need anyone’s permission.

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You don’t need to be afraid.

You don’t need to be perfect.

But you do need to act now. Set sail, my friend, and leave the safe harbour behind. After all, you don’t want to have any regrets on your deathbed now, do you?

What are your tips on how to live a fun and meaningful life? Please leave your outrageous thoughts in the comments.


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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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